To Stage or Not To Stage?…The $112,000 Question.


2 minute read

July 20, 2007

“Wait a second….you want us to PAY to remove all the furniture from our house, and then PAY money to bring in different furniture?  I don’t thinks so.”

Every hear the expression ‘You need to spend money to make money?’

Realtors are constantly facing opposition and skepticism from home owners when they suggest that the owners spend money to get their house ready for sale.  But those that take the Realtors’ advice are often handsomely rewarded for their efforts…


Time and time again, a Realtor goes into the home of a prospective seller, and suggests that the seller “stage” their house for sale, rent furniture, paint walls, clean carpets, and do landscaping.

Time and time again, prospective home sellers tell that Realtor “thanks for dropping by,” and hire a Realtor who will slap a For-Sale sign on thier lawn, and leave their comments and opinions regarding staging at the door.

Why don’t home owners listen to those knowledgable and experienced individuals that spend their days working in the real estate industry?

I have absolutely no idea.

But here is the case of somebody who DID listen to a Realtor, and who was rewarded with over $100,000 for doing so.

Last week, on Martin Road near Davisville/Mt.Pleasant, a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom, semi-detached house was listed at $499,000.  It was a completely different house from the one that sat there just a month earlier.

Simply put, this was one of the ugliest houses many of us had ever seen.  It was old, dirty, out of date, out of style, had structural concerns, and had not one identifiable positive feature.  At the time, we thought this house would fetch around $450,000 at most in its current state.

An agent in our office had the task of listing the house and getting it ready for sale.  She was very straightforward with the owners, and at the risk of offending them, she told them exactly what she thought.

They listened.

And they took her advice to a T.

They spent over $25,000 doing minor repairs on the house and staged it to look its best.  They painted every wall in the house, cleaned every square inch, and completely revamped the front and backyards.  They took out all of their posessions, and rented furniture to make the house look more modern and show the open space.

One week after the listing hit the market, they took offers on the property, and FIVE buyers lined up at the door.

The result?  It sold for $611,000 (listed at $499,000), $112,000 over the asking price, for a whopping 122% sale-to-list ratio.

Not bad for a house that was worth only $450,000 a month earlier.

When a Realtor tells you that perhaps you should do some “work” on your house to get it ready for sale, try to avoid the knee-jerk reaction and realize that the Realtor isn’t insulting you and your home, but rather trying to maximize the perceived value of your home in the eyes of potential buyers, and maximze the amount you receive for your house on offer night.

Put your ego aside for just long enough to allow an experienced Realtor do to their JOB!

The results are astounding, and in the case of the house on Martin Road last week, the owners have 112,000 reasons to be happy they listened to their Realtor…

Written By David Fleming

David Fleming is the author of Toronto Realty Blog, founded in 2007. He combined his passion for writing and real estate to create a space for honest information and two-way communication in a complex and dynamic market. David is a licensed Broker and the Broker of Record for Bosley – Toronto Realty Group

Find Out More About David Read More Posts

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  1. kinesiology grad

    at 7:55 pm

    You are bang-on! A young male real estate agent recently told me that staging is everything. In fact, he echoed what you’ve written, but you’ve explained it much more coherently. You certainly know what you’re talking about. I’ll pass your name on to people who are thinking of moving.
    Keep it up……and thanks for keeping us all informed!

  2. Anon E. Mouse

    at 2:28 pm


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